The United Nations on Friday denounced the U.S. for reportedly violating an international treaty against torture, including several instances of police shootings of unarmed black youth. In a 16-page review of the U.S.’ track record on torture since 2006, the U.N. took aim at what it said were “numerous reports” of police brutality against minorities as well as distressing conditions in some U.S. prisons, according to Reuters. The document, which does not mention the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, specifically, came in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer in the August shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
The U.N. Committee against Torture cited several examples of “excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, in particular against persons belonging to certain racial and ethnic group.” The report, the U.N.’s first on the U.S. since 2006, condemned the extensive use of Tasers against people resisting arrest, citing two recent cases in Florida and Chicago that turned deadly.
In response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for Brown’s death, committee member Alessio Bruni said the U.N. “has to respect the decision” of the jury, according to CNN. The comments were made Friday at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where Brown’s parents testified in front of the committee earlier this month.
The committee’s report focused mainly on the U.S.’ treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, however its allegations broadened to include other alleged abuses, such as the “prolonged suffering” endured by victims of prison rape and death row inmates who undergo so-called botched executions, as well as the excessive use of solitary confinement.
Wilson gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown in August. The shooting sparked national protests over police brutality and the nature of policing in the U.S. Wilson will not stand trial for the shooting after a grand jury found that he had acted in self-defense, a decision that was met with riots across the country.
Source: International Business Times